Every place on earth has beauty traditions. Whether it be the face, hair or body, there are countless rituals that have been passed down through generations around the world.
The role that beauty has played in daily life—in courting, in religion, in culture—is varied and vital. All of these rituals began in knowledge of nature and its benefits on our appearance.
Beauty Traditions from Around the World
Here are some beauty rituals from every continent on earth…
Asia – Massage
Documents have been discovered that show as far back as 2700 B.C.E., people were using massage as an important part of their healthcare. Massage has long been used to relieve tension in muscles and stimulate the circulatory system. When your circulation is functioning at its peak, your beauty benefits too – you will gain that rosy glow.
Africa – Shea Butter
Shea butter and shea oil are made from the nut of the shea tree, also known as the karite tree. Most of the world’s shea butter comes from Burkina Faso, but the shea tree grows in 12 countries on the African continent. Shea butter and oil contain fatty acids and anti-oxidant compounds that restore skin cells, and protect from the damaging effects of sun and pollution.
North America – Yucca
Native American tribes have long used the yucca plant to maintain beautiful hair. The roots of the young yucca plant were used for making shampoo. This could be acheived by crushing the roots in water or peeling the bark from the root and rubbing into a pan of water to make suds for washing. The Zuni indians used yucca as a hair wash for newborns, to encourage their hair to grow strong and healthy.
South America – Coconut
Coconut oil has multiple uses in beauty maintenance. The oil is both moisturizing and cleansing. It contains natural antimicrobial ingredients which help to clear ance, and therefore can be used as a deep cleanser. The fatty acids in coconut oil keep the connective tissue in skin strong, which – as the women of Belize have long known – eases fine lines and softens dry skin.
Antarctica – Lip Balm
In the freezing cold, one of the first parts of the body to suffer is the lips. This is because the lips have no oil-producing pores, and therefore do not regulate their moisture as well as other parts of the skin. Lip balms have been used for centuries to hydrate and protect the lips. Natural lip balm is simple to make at home, and very effective. Simply combine cocoa butter and shea butter with nut oils (such as almond) and other essential oils you prefer (such as mint or lavender).
Europe – Olive Oil
Olive oil has been used for hundreds of years in the Mediterranean to treat hair and skin. Women in Greece used olive oil as a cleanser with warm water, and as an all over body moisturizer. It is also fantastic at conditioning the hair. Warm a spoonful of olive oil and rub through the hair, then wash out with a gentle cleanser (beer works very well!). Your hair will shine with health!
Australia – Yarrow
The indigenous people of Australia have used yarrow for thousands of years as a medicine and topical healing treatment. Yarrow root is a wonderful treatment for stretch marks, and can be made into an essential oil and massaged into the area. Yarrow is also fantastic for relieving menstrual cramps, a bloated stomach or urinary tract infections.
By Laura Hughes